LPE Blog

The Economics of Reaction

The Economics of Reaction

The economic style of thinking has undeniably constrained progressive ambitions. Yet this framing overlooks a secondary role that the economic style plays in political life: it provides cover for explicitly conservative and reactionary arguments by cloaking them in seemingly apolitical, technical expertise.

Thinking like a President

Thinking like a President

For fifty years, presidents of both parties have offered a vision of regulatory policy that takes the economic style of reasoning as its North Star. Republican and Democratic presidents have differed, however, in their willingness to sacrifice economic purity when it disrupts their larger policy agendas. While Republican administrations have tended to. . .

Weekly Roundup: September 16, 2022

Weekly Roundup: September 16, 2022

Frank Pasquale considers what could replace the “economic style,” Landon Storrs tells the darker history behind the rise of the “economic style,” and Alvin Velazquez explains why the NLRB needs to adopt a more protective joint employer standard. Plus, an LPE event on torts you won’t want to miss!

The ‘Economic Style’ as Red Scare Legacy

The ‘Economic Style’ as Red Scare Legacy

The rise of the “economic style of reasoning” in the 1960s cannot be properly understood without attending to the political fallout of earlier decades. Institutional economists and social Keynesians did not just fall out of academic fashion or become irrelevant to the problems at hand. Instead, many were forced out of government or toward the political center. . .

What Could Replace the Economic Style?

What Could Replace the Economic Style?

The simple supply and demand curves that today’s policymakers learned in Ec 10 in the 1990s are guiding the highest levels of policymaking in various agencies and Congressional offices today. Given this troubling reality, should we seek to reform the economic style, so that it more accurately reflects the true benefits of government action, or should we. . .

Weekly Roundup: September 9, 2022

Weekly Roundup: September 9, 2022

The week in review: Beth Popp Berman kicked off a symposium on Thinking like an Economist, Marshall Steinbaum argued that Berman’s account overlooks the alternative economic theories that were displaced by the economic style, and Kate Redburn analyzed the political-economic vision undergirding Supreme Court’s recent theocratic turn.. . .

The Law and Political Economy of Religious Freedom

The Law and Political Economy of Religious Freedom

As recent Supreme Court cases make clear, the libertarian and Christian wings of the conservative legal movement have orchestrated a two-step process to shift the allocation of public resources to private religious power. First, privatize public goods and services. Second, eliminate the distinction between religious and secular in the newly empowered private. . .

The Limits of “Thinking like an Economist”

The Limits of “Thinking like an Economist”

Why have Democrats remained committed to an incrementalist, modestly ambitious vision of governance, even as the country has faced unprecedented challenges? One critical yet underappreciated piece of the explanation is the rise of a distinctive “economic style of reasoning” that has become prevalent in Washington.

August Hiatus

August Hiatus

The blog goes on August hiatus, a new primer on climate change, our top ten posts of the past year, and two new editors join the team.

Weekly Roundup: July 29, 2022

Weekly Roundup: July 29, 2022

A clarion call for public ownership, the varieties of antimonopolism in the progressive movement, and human trafficking through the lens of status coercion.